I helped curate two Found Art shows in Woods Hole in the last several years. The exhibits were open to everyone who made art from "found" objects, either man-made or natural. Each artist defined Found Art in his or her own way, and the show being non-juried gave folks room to experiment...

The passion that brings Found Artists together is the desire to take an object no longer viable for its original use and transform it into another image. The object is saved from the trash heap.

Over 30 artists joined in the fun each time. The range and the quality of art was wonderful; bells made from used scuba tanks; mosaics created from cracked dinner plates; an entire scene of two dinosaurs attacking one another composed only of branches from the woods; a sculpture of used tea bags; a giant pumpkin filled with dry ice.

The artists enjoyed meeting one another, swapping stories, and sharing their stockpiles with each other.

Simultaneously with the show, several of us (Alfie Glover, Bob Beardsley, Tommy Sousa) hosted a workshop for the public, to teach the art of using found objects. We provided a range of found objects for people to use: ironing boards, crooked nails from a razed warehouse, kitchen utensils no longer usable, broken telephones. Those who wanted to could bring their creations upstairs to join the show.

Many people participated, half of them children. Folks who didn’t consider themselves artists were able to play without the materials without fear of judgement, this discovering the creativity within themselves.

“Plastic doodads, quirky old appliances, rusty nails, coming together in a symphony of insanity, and the result, Found Art, is at once fascinating and perfectly hilarious.”

Geri Trudeau, Falmouth Enterprise, 2/23/01

One 8-year-old, as he exhibited a decoration he had made, told me, “You know, I love being an artist.”

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